How to Care for New Trees

Planting a tree on your property has several benefits. Trees provide much-needed summer shade, create privacy, filter contaminated air and increase curb appeal. Everyone should plant trees.

Once full-grown, trees are simple to care for: another benefit! Trees are durable and tend to grow despite minimal care. But, if you want to see your trees achieve their potential, they need more effort.

Lack of care for young trees might lead to rotting, disease, under watering or pest issues.

Fortunately, tree care isn’t too difficult, but you do need a little information to do it right. Research the new trees you plant in order to know exactly what they need. Then properly care for them and watch them flourish.

Below, we’ll describe the five best tips for planting a new tree and seeing it thrive. You probably are aware of the basics, so we’ll dive a little deeper and lay out how to complete each step.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These five tips will not only help keep your trees alive, they’ll help them to grow much faster, resist damaging gusts of wind, fight off diseases ,insects and pests and produce more leaves, flowers or fruit.

Water Your Tree

New trees need more water than well-established ones. The trees you plant on your property are no exception.

The root ball of the tree and the soil surrounding it have to be kept moist, but don’t let it get soaked, as this might cause the roots to rot.

The best practice is 4-10 gallons of water every week. This includes rain water, and although it’s hard to have an exact reading, a rain gauge can help get you close enough to add the remaining gallons. Your new trees will need this much water for the initial 2-3 growing seasons.

Mulch Around Your Trees

Mulch is more than an attractive landscaping product. It actually helps protect new trees, especially the roots underground. But laying mulch the wrong way can cause rotting and decay – so much so, in fact, that the tree will not survive.

Place mulch 3 inches away from the trunk of the tree and spread it out to cover the ground underneath the longest limb. For new trees, this won’t be very far, but as the tree continues to grow, your mulch area will also grow as well.

Keep the mulch at least 2 to 4 inches thick in all areas around the tree. Be vigilant in spreading it out consistently and away from the tree trunk so it does not impede air flow around the tree trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides the nutrients your land’s soil might not have naturally. Most young trees benefit from fertilizing, but you need to be using the right products and doing it at the correct time for fertilizer to be most beneficial.

The perfect time of year to fertilize is early spring. Sometimes early summer provides the right conditions (mild temperatures and wet soil), but don’t count on it.

If you are unsure about which type of fertilizer to use, consult a tree care professional for advice. Slow-release fertilizers are typically a good idea because they feed your trees over time rather than all at once.

Follow through with these things in the first few growing seasons after planting a new tree, and then reevaluate your watering, mulching and fertilizing as the tree gets older. As seasons go on, there will be tree care tasks that are more important for your young trees.

Prune Your Tree

Tree trimming is very important – but very challenging – in the initial years after planting a new tree. As the tree grows bigger, you may see a lot of little branches take off, trying to become the tree’s trunk. You may think this means that the tree is healthy and that it is growing well, but it can actually lead to a weak tree in the future.

Early trimming helps to shape the tree into what it will look like when it is much larger. As tiny limbs emerge from the lower trunk, they must be cut off so they don’t suck water and nutrients away from the branches at the top of the tree.

So long as there are trees somewhere on your land, they need to be pruned regularly. When the tree gets too big for you to trim them safely, you can trust MN Tree Trimming to do it for you.

Monitor Your Tree

Young trees are at the most risk for damage, disease and pest issues. But you’re never truly safe from these things. As your tree gets larger, watch it closely for signs of disease or poor nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color changing out of season, with leaves turning yellow or brown
  • Premature leaf drop, regardless of whether leaves look healthy or sick
  • Wilting, even with adequate watering
  • Single branches dying
  • Bark peeling

These signs indicate a health problem. It is likely going to need professional maintenance if your hope is to keep the tree alive. An experienced arborist can usually diagnose the issue by simply looking at your tree, although they will do testing whenever necessary.

If you discover the problem early enough, you will likely be able to save the tree from dying. Being proactive is the best way to protect your growing trees.

The steps above are simple yet effective. Don’t underestimate the value of the basics! When new trees have proper care, combined with some sunshine and barring severe, damaging weather, the chances are probable that the tree will survive and look wonderful too!

Of course, you may already have a full schedule and don’t want to be responsible for these additional tasks. In many cases, property owners don’t have the ability or the tools to give their growing trees the necessary care.

No matter the situation, it’s a good idea to seek the help of a professional for caring for new trees. A certified arborist in Minnesota can consult with you about the best course of care for each tree species you plant on your property. They enjoy sharing their expertise and skills with homeowners planting brand new trees on their land, and they can make the difference between trees that struggle and trees that thrive.

Call MN Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree care in Minnesota – including tree pruning – for newer trees and old trees. A local tree service can determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.